An upgrade project at one of Summerland’s reservoirs has been completed under budget.
The official opening of the Isintok Dam outlet was held on July 19 at the reservoir lake west of Summerland.
A dam has been in place at this lake since 1926. In 2013, a video inspection revealed the outlet pipe would need to be replaced. The contract for the detail design work was awarded in the spring of 2019 and the construction work began in August 2021.
“A project is never quite as straightforward as we think it might be,” said Summerland mayor Toni Boot. She explained that the lake level had to be drawn down before the work could begin.
The budget for the project was $2,415,860, with around $1.8 million to come from the federal and provincial governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Summerland’s budgeted portion was $600,000, to come from capital reserves.
However, the project came in under budget. The final cost was slightly more than $2 million, which meant Summerland’s portion was a little more than $225,000, Boot added.
She said the dam allows the community to store water for agriculture, regulate water for fish in Trout Creek and provide source water for the water treatment plant.
In addition, dams help support flood resilience.
The reservoir lake can hold 1.3 million cubic metres of water. This is the equivalent of 520 Olympic swimming pools.
Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said the outlet project showed amazing foresight by the municipality of Summerland. He also thanked the provincial and federal governments for allowing this project to proceed.
Anna Warwick Sears of the Okanagan Basin Water Board said the infrastructure work and maintenance of the dam are necessary.
“It is very important to keep this dam in good condition,” she said.
Jeremy Storvold, director of utilities with the municipality of Summerland, said the maintenance of the dam is important for areas downstream, including the Summerland neighbourhood of Trout Creek.
“If all of this water came through all at once, Trout Creek would have a problem,” he said. He added that widening the spillway has been identified as a future need for the community.
The design work was done by Kerr Wood Leidal and the construction was done by Jim Dent Construction. Consultation with Indigenous groups took place and planning was done to ensure environmental outcomes were met.
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